Google often steps in when disaster strikes, helping people in Chile, China, Haiti, and Pakistan (among many other places) to date. And now that fire’s claimed several lives and many homes in San Bruno, California, the company’s trying to render assistance again.
A quick note in case anyone with friends or family members at Google is reading: a post on the Official Google Blog explained that "no Google employee was hurt" even though "[t]his disaster strikes close to home; our YouTube offices are about two miles away from the main gas explosion."
Otherwise, one significant way in which Google’s helping people who have been affected is with a substantial donation. The company gave an "initial amount" of $50,000 to the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, since it’s closely involved with relief efforts.
Also, Laszlo Bock, Vice President of People Operations, wrote, "We’re directing Googlers to the local blood drives today and will be hosting blood drives in our San Bruno, Mountain View and San Francisco offices early next week."
Then there’s the simple matter of Google doing what it can to get other organizations and individuals involved. Between the corporate blog post and a couple of tweets, it’s possible that Google will bring the situation to the attention to several million people.